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Life Insurance & Critical Illness - Why you shouldn't buy from a search engine.

Written by John J Bloomfield

Life Insurer LogosCritical Illness insurance is something that I am particularly passionate about. I have learned firsthand the benefit the cover can bring and it is more than money.

For those of you who don't already know in 2011 my wife was taken ill with what later diagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis, it was just 14 months after our twin boys had been delivered stillborn which had a negative financial effect on us as a couple as my wife had taken a significant period off work and I had taken a backward step with my work just looking after my existing clients for a while and not taking on any new business. Just knowing that we had insurance in the background made a big difference to us, in the short term. I was able to attend all her appointments with her and generally be away from work without worry.

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With-Profits Investments, is it Time to Cash in Or Transfer Out?

Written by John J Bloomfield

Calculator and Money

So you have a With-Profits based investment and your wondering whether it is worth hanging on to it or if you should cash it in, or in the case of a pension transfer out.

In this article, I will discuss the factors you should consider when weighing up your options.

The first thing that you need to know is what sort of With-Profits fund your money is invested in, two types exist "conventional" sometimes called traditional and "unitised" you should be able to see which type you have from your policy documents.

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Email Security – Take It Seriously

Written by John J Bloomfield

padlocks financial security

In recent years email use has increased massively for many of my clients it has become the main way that they contact me to schedule an appointment. Email is an incredibly convenient tool particularly with the advent of Smartphone's but it is not without risks.

The regulators within financial services have for quite some time now been concerned with 'email interception' I won't bore you with the mechanics but a fair analogy is that of the postcard.

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As Cheap As Chips!

Written by John J Bloomfield
Amble, Northumberland
Amble, Northumberland

At the weekend my wife and I drove up to Amble on the Northumberland coast for an impromptu trip out. While at the seaside we indulged in the customary fish and chips prompted by the sea air and the smell wafting at us from a seaside cafe.

Bizarrely this got me thinking about inflation! Inflation and its effect on the real value of money is something that I talk about with clients all the time, whether it's trying to protect savings languishing in deposit accounts with interest rates below the current rate of inflation or talking about index linking life insurance or pension payments it does come up quite a lot. It's often difficult to really get people thinking about the effect.

Why then did chips make me think about inflation, well I'll tell you a story that will give away my age. When I was at senior school in Gateshead my Mam, used to give me £1 for lunch that would break down as 50p for a chip butty, 25p for a can of pop and usually 25p for a cream cake or ice lolly. That was 18/19 years ago, now ignoring the lack of nutritional value for a moment and thinking about the prices, a bag of chips with a bun was going for £2 in the chip shop, probably a little more than most being on the coast but still a four times increase in less than 20 years. Oh, I bought a can of pop too and that was £1.

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No Interest For Savers

Written by John J Bloomfield

The recent announcement by the Bank of England that they will not be raising interest rates until we see a significant fall in the unemployment figures has been broadly welcomed by British business' who feel for the most part that this will give them the confidence to plan their business moves for the next couple of years to take advantage of the expected cheap credit and get the economy moving again.

This is little comfort to those who are seeing the value of their savings accounts being eroded by inflation which has been hovering around 2.5-3.0% per year for quite some time now. (You can check the current rate via a handy tool on the BBC website - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10612209) When the rate of inflation is higher than the savings interest rate you are receiving the buying power of your money held on deposit is falling year on year. Shopping around for the best savings accounts will help a little, but in the current environment offers that look too good to be true usually have a catch such as maximum deposit amounts etc.

The question is what can savers do to increase the return on their money, to my mind they have two realistic options;

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